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200-plus new Welsh food and drink products as major event returns

From the UK’s first carbon-neutral potatoes to plant-based desserts and alcohol free botanic drinks, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced more than 200 new food and drink products will be showcased by Welsh businesses at BlasCymru/TasteWales, which returns today.

The number of products developed during what has been an incredibly challenging year is clear proof of the resilience and innovation within the sector in Wales.

The event is taking place at the International Convention Centre (ICC Wales) in Newport and provides a crucial platform for producers from across Wales to show their products to trade buyers from retail, foodservice and export consolidators from across the UK. A virtual meet is also being arranged with the international buyers following the event.

Further new products, which have been produced over the last 12 months, include new yoghurt flavours, seasonal craft ales, a range of flavoured oat crackers, organic fermented smoked kraut and Beet Slaw packaged in sustainable, fully recycled packaging.

Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Government’s food division, which organises the event, and Food Innovation Wales have also played an important role in supporting businesses to develop these products including bringing companies together to share and develop new ideas.

This has been boosted further by a wealth of support on offer including start-ups through Cywain and training and skills development through Food Skills Cymru.

One of the companies showcasing their new range of vegan potted plant based desserts is Daffodil Foods based in Y Ffôr, Pwllheli.

Director Lynne Rowlands said: “We have a range of plant based chocolate truffle desserts, which taste fantastically rich and indulgent with a melt-in-the mouth silky texture. Made to a vegan recipe in Wales to reduce food miles.

“Potted Plants desserts are naturally better for you and better for the environment. Their specialised heat treatment extends the shelf life to reduce the risk of contributing to food waste. The desserts are packed in glass ramekin jars with metal caps, which are currently more effectively recycled in the UK than most plastics.

“BlasCymru/TasteWales is a great time for us to showcase these sustainable chocolate desserts as well as our wider offer.”

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said: “I am incredibly proud of our fantastic food and drink sector and for over 200 new products to be developed, as we have dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic, clearly shows the resilience and innovative spirit which runs throughout Welsh producers.

“It has been been a challenging time for everyone in the industry, but the response of our businesses has been nothing short of magnificent.

“It is great this year’s BlasCymru/TasteWales is going ahead and today’s news shows how much Wales has to offer both at home and abroad and I’m sure buyers from will be impressed with what they see.

“The Welsh Government will continue to support the food and drink sector as we recover from the pandemic and I look forward to seeing more new products being made in Wales and enjoyed around the globe.”

Other companies at the event with new products include Puffin Produce and their ‘Root Zero’, the UK’s first carbon-neutral potatoes, and Old Coach House Distillery with the world’s first alcohol free distillery.

Huw Thomas, Managing Director of Puffin Produce said: “The food system contributes up to 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing the planet to heat up faster than ever before. We have to act now, so we’re on a mission to become carbon neutral and farm in a way that protects and regenerates our land, plants and wildlife.

“Root Zero potatoes are certified carbon neutral and grown using sustainable farming practices to remove carbon dioxide, create healthy soil and increase local biodiversity. We are hoping that these sustainably packed products will start to tackle the huge impact of the food industry on climate change.”

Old Coach House Distillery Director, Cameron Mackay said: “We are a family run business, handcrafting Stillers – an award winning range of alcohol free botanical drinks which are copper pot distilled using the finest organic grade herbs and spices, blended with Welsh spring water.

“Our cutting edge products are a perfect fit for anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle, adventurer or just a food and drink lover. We are looking forward to attending TasteWales to meet with buyers and retailers which will hopefully lead to new business for us.”

For more information on this year’s BlasCymru/Taste Wales event visit: https://www.tastewales.com/

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